The steps to release a podcast episode


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The steps to release a podcast episode

What are you in for?

If you’re new to podcasting you might not realise quite how many steps there are in the process.

So here’s a rundown so you know exactly what you have to do to make a podcast…

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1. Plan your episode

The more planned you are the more you’ll be able to keep your recording session on track.  And if you’re flying by the seat of your pants or working out where things are going in the moment your show will not only take longer it’ll be a nightmare to edit.

Planning your episodes includes booking guests, researching interview questions and content, locking in time for your record and putting together a show run down or plan for each episode.

There are a lot of steps in this part of the process that take longer than you’d think especially guest booking and research.

To book a guest you might be able to lock them down in half an hour or you might be going back and forth for months.  It’s very hard to plan around this because there are so many variables that can affect how long it takes.

And that’s even before you get to research.

If you’re researching your guest or your topics properly you can get lost in the rabbit hole for hours.  So make sure you set aside plenty of time.

Ideally, you want to walk into your record as prepared as possible so this step is really important if you want things to run smoothly.

If you tend to get carried away with research try giving yourself a hard time limit.  Sometimes tasks expand to the time available so if you set yourself a deadline it can help you reign in the procrastination.

How long does it take to put together a podcast episode?


2. Record your episode

How long this takes depends on how prepared you are but also on what happens in the moment.

You might be having an amazing chat and get swept away or you could sit down with a guest and it might take you ages to build rapport and get them to open up.

If you’re recording a show with co-hosts you might all be on your game and hit it out of the park.  Or one of you might be having an off day where you can’t seem to get the rhythm right.  All of these things will play a role in the length of your record.

Since it’s easy to feel like records are shorter than they are, make sure you keep an eye on the time, especially if you have a guest.  Be clear about how long you need them for and then stick to that timeframe.

The last thing you want is someone looking at their watch thinking “I’m going to be late” rather than being in the moment.

How to record a podcast


3. Edit the episode

This will vary depending on how much audio you’ve recorded, how succinct your questions and answers are, how many people you have on your show and whether everyone was performing at their best.

As a general rule the more you’ve recorded and the more people on your show the harder it’s going to be to edit and the longer that process will take.

And, of course, once you’ve finished the basic edit you’ll need to factor in things like adding an intro and outro so it sounds polished.

If you’ve got more complex production like segment intros or sound effects this will add even more time so that’s something to consider when you’re coming up with the format of your show.

Do you need to edit your podcast?


4. Export and tag your MP3

MP3 is the audio format you’ll need to upload your episodes to a podcast host.

If you’ve never edited anything before, don’t worry, it’s much easier than it sounds because it just refers to the way you save your file.

After you’ve exported your MP3 you need to tag it with all the important metadata like your show name, logo, description and website.

This ensures no matter how someone listens they’ll get all that important information attached to the file.

Why you need to tag your podcast MP3s


5. Upload your tagged MP3 to your podcast host

A podcast host is the link between you and podcast directories like iTunes and Google Podcasts.  It’s also the place where you’ll store all your MP3s because you don’t want them stored on your website (unless you want it to run like an old mule).

Popular podcast hosts include Libsyn, Blubrry, Omny and Whooshkaa.

You can use your podcast host to publish episodes straight away, or if you’re ahead of yourself (which is always a great idea) you can schedule them to release at a later date.

Do you need a podcast host?


6. Create show notes

These are blog posts on your website that correspond to each episode of your podcast.

You can make these as comprehensive and creative as you like and include links to anything you spoke about in the show as well as helpful resources, photos or links to other episodes.

A good way to cut down the time it takes to make these is to use a transcription service to transcribe your episodes and then build your show notes from that.

What are show notes and why do you need them?


7. Share your show on social media

This can be as simple or as involved as you like depending on how much time you’ve got.

Some of the ways to promote your show include…

  1. Extracting quotes and turning them into Instagram posts
  2. Creating Click to Tweet links to embed into your show notes pages
  3. Building infographics that cover the information you’ve shared in your episode
  4. Cutting audio promos/highlights that give people a taste of your episode
  5. Recording behind the scenes videos to share with your fans
  6. Sharing images of you and your guest

This is not an exhaustive list, nor do you have to do everything so choose the options that work best for you and share your show as much as you can because that’s how you’ll find new listeners.

And remember, if your show is evergreen you can keep sharing episodes long after they’ve been released.  This can be done using a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or CoSchedule so you can do it ahead of time.  You just don’t want to spend all that time creating content then only tweet about it once.

How to promote your podcast before it’s live


As you can see there are a lot of steps in the process so you need to take this into account before getting started.

Podcasting is a big time commitment and the more you understand about what’s involved the better prepared you’ll be.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

  1. Stephanie Thompson says:

    Hi Rach,
    How do you prioritise the publication sequence for your podcast episodes? Meaning, if you have season 1 ready to launch, who should go first?
    Should you be aiming for the guests with the biggest following to become ‘new and noteworthy’?
    Any tips would be appreciated.
    Thank you

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Stephanie, There’s no exact science to this or a rule that can be applied to every show so I’d just look at your role out of episodes and plan them out on the basis of what works best for your content. Guests with a big following are great but they often don’t bring in as many listeners as you’d expect so I’d just look at your episode content and plan it out on the basis of what would work best for your audience. Rach

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Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!